Steelcase making supplies for healthcare workers battling virus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Steelcase has announced it has already started and continues to manufacture and deploy critical equipment supplies for healthcare providers on the frontlines of the battle against the COVID-19 global pandemic. Among the supplies Steelcase is producing are masks for use in clinical environments; facial shields for clinicians in direct contact with patients; and social screens, desktop and floor mounted, for screening and communicating with visitors at safe social distances.

Steelcase is using its plants, model shop and innovation center to rapidly develop products that will be built to scale and distributed to medical facilities. The company is working in partnership with healthcare professionals to approve designs for prompt turnarounds. Steelcase is set to produce 6,000 isolation masks and 12,500 face shields per week, just in its Grand Rapids locations. The company is working hard to expand production to other geographies including Alabama, Mexico, Germany and through key partners.

“This is an extraordinary crisis that requires a strong, coordinated, global response. Steelcase is proud to join this fight and deploy every possible resource we have to support our communities, hospitals and healthcare workers with the equipment they need to keep us healthy and safe,” said Jim Keane, Steelcase president and CEO. “The outpouring of support from Steelcase employees looking for ways they can get involved is profoundly humbling. I am so proud of this team.”

Steelcase is collaborating with other manufacturers to share best practices and accelerate the production of healthcare equipment that supports physicians, nurses and hospitals treat patients. This coordinated effort is providing face mask design templates and fabric mask assembly instructions for other businesses and individuals seeking ways to help produce this equipment.

Steelcase will begin broadly sharing designs, urging all apparel manufacturers, furniture manufacturers and anyone with a sewing machine to join the efforts. Click here for instructions for how to get involved.

Additionally, Steelcase is working with community healthcare partners, like Spectrum Health and Mercy Health, to help protect healthcare workers on the frontlines of this battle. In a very short period, Steelcase prototyped and produced clear plexiglass barriers to help protect Spectrum employees tasked with screening visitors who may have been exposed to COVID-19.


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Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at [email protected].